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The Seiko Lord Matic - like the 1975 Seiko 5216-8010 LM Special here, on its original bracelet, and with box & papers - has all the classic signs of Taro Tanaka’s “Grammar of Design” cues, to include razor sharp lines, angular case corners, circumspect textures, and highly reflective surfaces.


Couple this with a metallic brown dial (with its contrasting font textures and silver/gold colors), so-thin-its-almost-not-there seconds hand, and a unique sharp faceted crystal, and you’ve got an outstanding dress watch.


But what’s behind the “Special” nomenclature, which makes it stand out from other Seiko Lord Matic’s?


In the 1970s, Seiko used terms like “Hi-Beat,” “VFA” (Very Fine Adjusted), and “Special” for its automatic movements – Hi-Beat was used with movement frequencies of 28,800 or 36,000 beats per hour, and VFA was utilized for movements exceeding chronometer specifications (ie: +/- 1 minute per month).


The third term, “Special” was the VFA’s smaller sibling; while it didn’t feature the same precision, it was -3/+3 seconds a day when new.


In the mid-1970s, when Seiko released the LM Special, it was wholly dedicated to quartz production, with a few minor exceptions – even the flagship mechanical lines had been discontinued, Grand and King Seiko, in the early 1970s.


Of these mechanical exceptions was the LM Special, which Seiko priced at a mere quarter of the price asked for their revolutionary quartz watches at the time. Despite the price, the Special was the top of what was left of Seiko’s mechanical lines.


The Ref. 5200 LM Special automatic movement was the last of the Seiko Daini movements – an upgrade on previous movements – and the improved movement incorporated hand winding, hacking, and a micro regulator for higher precision.


To the unversed, quick setting the date can be unsettling, as this also manually winds the mainspring, leading to wearer concern the force is damaging the date gear (it doesn’t). The 5200 line lives on to this day as the inspiration for Seiko’s 4S automatic movements, used in such legends as the SKX diver line and more.


Historically, the Lord Matic found its genesis in the Lord Marvel (first made in 1956), with the LM series eventually positioned beneath the King Seiko, but with sophisticated new automatic movement paired with high-quality case design and finishing.


By 1968, the LM line had greatly increased in popularity and its Ref. 56 series movement became one of the most ubiquitous Seiko mechanical movements of the era - the 56 also formed the basis of higher beat variants fitted to many of the automatic King Seiko and Grand Seiko models of the early to mid-1970’s.  The Lord Matic was produced at the middle of Seiko lineup, pricewise, from 1968 through the 1970’s.


This Seiko 5216 LM Special comes on its original LM-signed stainless-steel bracelet, and with nylon strap, springbar tool, and rugged travel case.

1975 Seiko 5216-8010 Lord Matic Special, w/Original Bracelet, Box & Papers

  • DIAL: Gorgeous Seiko LM Special-signed brown textured dial, with atypical applied gold "LM" logo and crisp lettering throughout;  day/date at 3 o’clock position works as designed, with Kanji Japanese and English day variants.  Matching hour, minute, and second hands.


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 37mm (37.5 w/crown) x 42mm; caselines remain sharp, with zero evidence of machine polish.


    CRYSTAL: Original acrylic crystal, with no chips or scratches on crystal or its edges.


    BAND: This LM comes on its original LM-signed stainless-steel bracelet, which features intricate fantastically textured interlocking links and will fit up to an approx. 7.25 inch wrist.  This 5216 also comes with a grey nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 25-jewel automatic movement, manufactured in April 1975.  This hacking movement can also be manually wound.  Day and date quick set functions work as designed. 


    CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown.


    Of note, this 5216-7090 Lord Matic Special comes with its original LM instructions manual, inner/outer boxes, and hang tag.

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